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Match round-up - First Division Day 33

Real Madrid closed the gap on Barcelona to four points after they beat Sevilla 2-4 in the Sánchez Pizjuán stadium. Renato headed the Andalusians in to an early lead, but Raúl equalised on the stroke of half time, and then completed a hat-trick with two more in three minutes around the hour mark. Diego Capel scored again for the locals with eight minutes to go, but Marcelo beat Palop again on a late breakaway in injury time to set up an exciting clash with the leaders next weekend in the Santiago Bernabeu.

Villarreal are back in the battle for the Champions League spots after a 1-2 win at Getafe left them just a point behind Valencia and two behind Sevilla. Capdevila put them ahead on the quarter hour mark after Stojkovic dropped Nihat's free kick and Fuentes shot against the post, and Llorente made it two after picking up Nihat's pass close to half time. Manu Del Moral got one back from the penalty spot near the end, but it was not enough to prevent another defeat which leaves Víctor Muñoz's side just a point above the drop zone.

Atlético Madrid moved back to sixth in the table after beating Sporting Gijón 3-1 in the last match on Sunday evening. Diego Forlán got the first with a long shot which took a deflection off Neru, and then set up Simao for the second shortly before half time. Agüero made it three after another assist from Forlán soon after the restart, and Bilic replied at the other end from Diego Castro's cross a minute later. Despite the win the fans gave their players a hard time after their recent disappointing results.

Espanyol climbed out of the relegation spots for the first time in over four months after beating Betis 2-0. Luis García gave the Catalans an early lead from De la Peña's pass, and Román Martínez made sure of the victory, beating Ricardo from the edge of the area with seven minutes to go. Pochettino's side have now picked up thirteen points from their last five games, and they move above Sporting and Getafe, just two points now behind their opponents who are still not out of danger.

Mallorca have completed their homework for this season though, a 2-4 victory at struggling Recreativo virtually ensuring another year of first division football for the Balearic Islanders. Goals from Jurado and Arango put them two up with only a quarter of an hour gone, and although Sisi got one back soon after the restart, Castro restored the two goal cushion a few minutes later. Camuñas scored a second for the locals, but Keita's third in four days was enough to take the three points.

Valladolid also got the point they needed to take them off the forty point mark thanks to a 0-0 draw with Osasuna. After Oldoni headed just wide in the first minute chances were few and far between, although local keeper Sergio Asenjo did have to make a couple of important saves from Juanfran. A good point though for the visitors as well, who now have to face relegation rivals Recre and Getafe before finishing off the season against the top three.

Athletic Bilbao moved up to mid-table themselves after a 2-1 win over Racing Santander. By half time they were two up, Llorente heading Koikili's cross past Coltorti and David lópez converting a penalty after Llorente was tripped by Luccin. Pinillos got one back from the penalty spot after the restart, but from then on referee González Vázquez took over the spotlight, sending off Yeste, Marcano, Pinillos, Orbaiz and Pereira. (26.04.09)

A ding-dong battle between Valencia and Barcelona ended with the points being shared in a 2-2 draw. The league leaders went ahead midway through the first half, Messi finishing off a quick passing move with Iniesta. But the Chés came back with two goals in two minutes just before half time, Maduro turning in Silva's corner and Pablo Hernández picking up Mata's return pass and running on to beat Valdés. Guardiola's side equalised again though with five minutes to go, Henry lobbing the ball in to the net to move seven points clear of Real Madrid pending their game on Sunday.

Málaga and Deportivo are both pushing for a place in UEFA next season, and the Andalusians stay a point ahead of their rivals after a 1-1 draw. Albert Luque put the locals ahead following an indirect free kick on the half hour mark, but Sergio levelled the scores with a header from Guardado's cross soon after the restart. Málaga could have won it though had Aranzubia not saved Apoño's penalty near the end.

Bottom club Numancia appear to be heading back to the second division though after a 2-1 defeat at Almería. Kalu Uche gave the home side the lead in the seventh minute after Negredo set him up, and another good run by Negredo close to half time laid on the second for Soriano. The visitors didn't give up the fight though, and Goiria headed one back after the restart. (25.04.09)